This week on Message Mondays, we will be quickly touching upon something that was discussed in Bible study last night- the topic of how to witness to your non-Christian friends who have blatantly and unequivocally turned away from God.
We’ve recently been reading the book of Hebrews in our bible study group, and yesterday we were examining chapter 10. In that chapter, the verse that stood out to all of us was verse 26 and 27: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God; and this verse was in direct contradiction to verse 17, which basically reiterated that God will remember our sinful acts no more and will forgive them wholeheartedly. Is that confusing or is that confusing?
Though we still don’t know the writer of Hebrews, the one thing we can agree on is that he is writing to a people and a town that is still engrained in the strict laws off the time, clinging onto the belief of that the High Priest is the highest leader of all, and not in fact Jesus. So the writer of Hebrews sets these people straight throughout the book, but not in a reprimanding way but in a loving and caring way. I guess the context of chapter 10 is that the writer just finished talking about the High priest and now delves into the theme of preserving our faith in light of remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. So how does that connect with our friends who do not share the same faith and beliefs as us?
In my opinion (and it’s just my opinion, it’s not gospel or truth, as so far many people in my bible study group has slightly different interpretations of Hebrews in general), verse 26 and 27 of Hebrews 10 refers to people who knowingly have heard the gospel and maybe have grown up in a Christian home but have later in life firmly rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, even though they intellectually and historically know in their heads that Jesus and God is real. And verse 17 to me refers to something completely different, as it comes from a place of sinning but being remorseful and sorry for our actions, and knowing that Jesus is God and accepting that. So that’s the difference, boiled down to it in a nutshell, though at first glance the writer makes it all ambiguous.
So let’s go back to those who shun God and place him out to be crucified because of their hate and disdain. Weird, huh, that some people choose to disobey God and not acknowledge Him as their personal Lord and Saviour even after knowing all the facts… But it’s true! There are some people out in the world, and some celebrities in fact, that are in that category and they’re called apostates. Maybe your best friend or a family member is in that category. So what would you do so that God can reach these people.
When it all comes down to it, all we can do is pray that God reveals Himself once again to them. While this blog could open up a whole can of worms about the topic of ‘once saved, always saved’, what I will end with is this- if we truly love our friends and family who are not believers, then we shouldn’t force the gospel down their throats, but just show Jesus to them through love and through our actions. In time, God will reveal Himself to them, and because He is outside time, He knows what will happen in the end, so all we have to do is trust Him.
Who are the friends and loved ones in your life that do not know Jesus? How do you show God’s love to them? Let us know in the comments!